Caring for Your Skin Beneath a Face Mask

With many of us getting tired of dealing with this pandemic, our safety and health concerns still must rule the day. In many areas, including Chicago, wearing a facemask is becoming the norm in today’s world. And until we find a solution to this COVID-19 problem, we need to be diligent in protecting ourselves and others. But what about our skin?

Wearing a mask regularly may cause us some inconvenience. Yet, the fabric brushing against our facial skin may create its own problems. Irritation, acne breakouts, chafing, redness, and even bruising can result. With these skin issues looming, our staff at Dreyfuss Plastic Surgery rounded up these simple tips to ensure your skin is protected while covering your face.

Choose a Cotton Mask

While N95 masks are reserved for frontline workers and medical staff, we feel the best option for you will be coverings made from tightly woven cotton. Synthetic covers fail to breathe freely, and when they rub against the skin can cause irritation and rash. You might want to look for a mask that has an inside pocket to increase filtration by adding a coffee filter inside.

Wash Your Face. A Lot.

Wearing a mask creates a perfect area for dirt, oil, and sweat to collect. We recommend you add a gentle cleanser to your skincare arsenal to wash your face often. There are products with a gentle, pH-balanced cleanser you should use before and after wearing your mask.

Keep Your Mask Clean

Many of us have turned wearing a mask into a personal fashion statement. Some are even creating their own masks at home. If you are wearing homemade coverings that are not disposable, make sure you wash them daily after use. You may want to make more than one for a selection, so you can match the outfit you’re wearing each day and keep the coverings clean.

Reduce Friction

The most common problem we’re seeing is that face masks are rubbing the skin raw. We suggest finding a suitable ointment or salve to protect sensitive areas from chafing and friction. Or you can use household products like Aquaphor or Vaseline to prevent your skin from breaking out in a rash.

Skip Makeup

If this pandemic has one positive overture for your skin, it’s an opportunity to skip makeup—a perfect time to give your face a break for days at a time. If you don’t work at home, simply dress your eyes to look marvelous, and then use the mask to cover up instead of makeup.

Treat Acne Gently

If you notice a breakout, don’t pull out the big guns. Face coverings create a humid environment that promotes sebum production, clogged pores, and blemishes. To counter, skip the harsh treatments and opt for a soothing product to calm irritation and redness. We recommend salicylic acid as a healthy choice for its ability to reduce inflammation and unclog pores. Also, acne patches under your mask is a good trick while out in public. Who’s to know?

Schedule a consultation with Dr. David Dreyfuss today and learn how to protect your skin during this pandemic.